Thursday, February 7, 2008

Looking at others should be a way for us to look at ourselves

So I was watching the end of "Deal or No Deal" the other night. I really was not planning on doing so. I will presume just about everyone knows the premise. The woman on when I tuned in had two cases...either $200,000 or $1,000. She received an offer for a little over $100k. She decided against everyone in the room and good sense to follow through to the end...and ended up with $1,000. That was sad enough how her greed pushed her to that, but then Howie said how incredible she was, and then the audience stood and applauded.

Applauded what? How greed blinded her? How she made a terribly emotional decision instead of living in reality? The whole thing was just sad. I felt sad...for her, for them, and for me because to be sure on a big or small scale I have done the same thing. Why would I want to continue to watch that? I have nothing against game shows or the like...I mean watching when playing to win turns into greed blinding someone to what is obviously not a wise choice.

Then another reminder tonight. I had to give Cecilia a pow-pow for eating before it was time and then pitching a fit about having to sit down as punishment. No big deal in and of itself, but the hissie fit that fell into pure sinful anger as I held her and prayed for her was tough. God gives me patience and strength in those situations, as someone screaming at you that you are bad, you do not love them, do not pray for them, etc. can be...trying.

But through it all, I think I had the patience and strength because I think of myself and so many others in the Bible that although not five years old...did the exact same thing.

I suppose thinking of such things is not "positive" in terms the world uses, but for me to see myself and my actions in that of others, and to see God's grace living in me, gives me hope and renewed strength in the work He has given to each of us and for those around me. Whomever they are, they are no different than me. And for me, a positive self image is only the same kind of deception as the woman who was sure she was going to win $200,000. Wanting to believe something does not make it so, and trying to pretend we are "good" (as if good would serve to fulfill the perfect righteousness of the law) when the opposite is true is just a waste of time. I am reminded of a saying that took me years to understand as a kid:

if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

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